After hearing that the birthplace of a common phenomenon is right here in the South (don’t worry, we’ll tell you all about it!), we decided to round up some other downright weird facts about the Southern United States.
Enjoy brushing up on some trivia that you’ll likely have fun bringing out every once in a while!
Question #1: The entire reason we think of aliens as little green men is because of sightings that occurred in which state?
Answer: Kentucky. The reason aliens are so often depicted as little green men with bulging eyes traces back to a farm in Kelly, Kentucky. One night in 1955, 11 people showed up to the police station to report an encounter — multiple hours long — with these creatures. Read more about this baffling UFO account on History.com.
Question #2: The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was found in which state?
Answer: Arkansas. The largest diamond ever found in the United States was the 40.23-carat “Uncle Sam” discovered in Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park in 1924. The famous 8.52-carat “Esperanza” and the most perfect diamond “Strawn-Wagner” were also found here.
Question #3: Speaking of state parks, which Southern state has the second most state parks in the country behind Washington?
Answer: According to America’s State Parks, Florida has 112 state parks, second only to Washington with its 154, and followed closely by California and Oregon, which both have 110.
Question #4: Which state is tied with Missouri for the most bordering states in the United States?
Answer: Tennessee. Tennessee and Missouri have eight state borders — the highest number in the country. Tennessee touches Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Question #5: Aside from the White House, the South is home to the most-visited home in the country. Which home and where is it?
Answer: Though many say it’s Graceland in Memphis (500,000 annual visitors), the correct answer is Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina (1.7 million annual visitors). Biltmore covers nearly four acres and is made up of 250 rooms and has 65 fireplaces.
Question #6: Which state has the most prolific record of Bigfoot sightings, and even has a town named after the elusive creature?
Answer: Texas. Lots of East Texas residents have reported sightings of mysterious Bigfoot-like creatures in and around the region for decades. The local government has even proclaimed the town of Jefferson as the “geographical epicenter” of Bigfoot sightings, and they have a Bigfoot conference and parade every year. Silly signs across the Lone Star State’s hunting land will tell you you’re welcome to hunt as many of them as your heart desires.
Question #7: A colony of 4,000 wild monkeys exists in which state?
Answer: South Carolina. The 2,000-acre, pristine Morgan Island near Beaufort, SC, is home to more than 4,000 wild rhesus monkeys. In 1979, 1,700 of them were brought in from India to create a breeding population to be used for research. Happily, they’re no longer used for research and their habitat is protected by the state. You cannot disturb the monkeys on the island, but you can wave to them from a boat!
Question #8: The Black Pearl — the pirate ship in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl — was built in which state? HINT: An entire small town was created in this state for another popular movie released the same year.
Answer: Alabama. Disney studios asked Steiner Ship Yard in Bayou La Batre, AL, to build The Black Pearl to be used in the 2003 film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Interestingly enough, Tim Burton’s Big Fish came out the same year, and the enchanting town of Spectre was created near Millbrook, AL, for the film and never torn down. You can still go visit!
Question #9: This state was once responsible for most of the world’s production of catfish and had over 100,000 acres of catfish ponds.
Answer: Mississippi. Once the “Catfish Capital of the World,” the Mississippi Delta has been farming catfish since the 1960s, and once had more than 110,00 acres of catfish farms. Asian imports have overtaken much of the country’s catfish supply, but locals still eat their catfish with pride.
Question #10: Which state is home to the tallest state capitol building in the United States?
Answer: Louisiana. Baton Rouge is home to a bizarrely tall skyscraper — Louisiana’s capitol building — that towers an impressive 34 stories high and 460 feet tall from ground to needle.
Question #11: The rowdy collegiate fraternity custom of ‘streaking’ originated in which state?
Answer: Virginia. Rumor has it that George William Crump was the first American college student to be arrested for streaking in 1804 at Washington College (now Washington & Lee University).
Question #12: In which state was the largest wild hog ever discovered?
Answer: Georgia. The large hog was killed in Alapaha, GA, by Chris Griffin in 2004. “Hogzilla,” as it was aptly nicknamed, weighed somewhere between 800 and 1,000 pounds and measured 12 feet long! National Geographic stepped in to confirm the legend and the creature’s DNA, and you can read more here.
How many answers did you know?!
If you are interested in more interesting facts about the South, check out these articles:
- 8 Places You Won’t Believe Are In the South
- Did You Know Grocery Stores & 8 Other Things Are Southern Inventions?
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